Business incubators have brought the startup energy to the Southeast with their unique spaces designed to stimulate the growth and foster the success of startup companies. Every major southeastern city is home to a cluster of influential incubators started by local entrepreneurs attempting to supercharge their hometowns or they are rolled out of university research labs. They offer office areas at affordable rates, staff experienced in developing business and marketing plans, plus companies often share equipment and space to reduce everyone’s overhead and operational costs. Here is a look at five powerful southeastern incubators where fresh ideas are continuously being hatched.
The Georgia Research Alliance, a group of six universities including the University of Georgia, Georgia Regents University, Emory University, Clark Atlanta University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Georgia State University, fosters collaboration across the different campuses and helps commercialize the results. It has produced over 150 companies creating invaluable jobs and changing lives. They focus on advanced computing, multimedia, biotech, and alternative-energy startups. The Alliance has played a major role in building a reputation for Georgia as an epicenter of discovery and innovation, and GRA is nationally recognized as the leading enterprise of its kind. Science and technology breakthroughs continue to emerge from Georgia’s universities because of GRA’s investment and involvement.
Breakout Business: GeoVax got the go ahead from the FDA to test its HIV vaccine in human clinical trials.
Atlanta Tech Village is designed for technology and technology-related companies that have a unique set of needs in their quest to change the world. The 103,000 square foot building is located in the heart of Atlanta’s financial district, Buckhead, and home to this community of innovation. Their mission is to support and inspire entrepreneurs to achieve success through a community that promotes faster connections between talent, ideas and capital. Atlanta Tech Village is going through some renovations and when completed the building will have large event spaces, training labs, shared conference rooms, indoor/outdoor co-working space, coffee shop, gym, and much more.
Breakout Business: GreenPrint offers a suite of services to the retail gasoline, fleet, and consumer product industries that promote sustainability and create a net-positive impact on the environment.
RaleighHQ empowers tenants to create purpose-driven businesses and encourages them to leave the world better than they found it. The shared workspace is designed to cultivate companies that produce long-term job growth and positive social impact. In addition to private suites and a co-working space, RaleighHQ also features a café space with a full-service kitchen, bar, and Jubala Village Coffee equipment.
Breakout Business: Headbands for Hope has donated over 20,000 headbands to young girls with cancer and has been featured on The Today Show.
The Innovation Depot took over a 140,000-square-foot former Sears store to create one of the largest incubators in the Southeast. Operating in partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, they focus on the development of emerging startups in the biotech, IT, and engineering fields. The Innovation Depot staff of internationally known experts in business incubation consults tenants on anything from budgeting to distribution logistics. They also host seminars on a variety of important business topics at least twice per month.
Breakout Business: Motus Motorcycles released a prototype for the world's first direct-injected, liquid-cooled V-4 motorcycle engine last year.
The Nashville Business Incubation Center is one of the oldest incubators in the Southeast and is located at Tennessee State University. Their main goal is to aid the growth and development of startup businesses through classes, programs, onsite mentoring, one-on-one business counseling and peer support. Startups supported by the NBIC’s programs create an average of 41 jobs each year giving NBIC an 86 percent success rate at shaping fruitful businesses.
Breakout Business: Transcender, a computer-based training firm, was sold for $60 million in stock and cash.